If only I had a pound for every time a guy has said “Wow! I would marry you in a heartbeat!” to me, I’d probably be living in a castle on Mars by now, eating my homegrown organic Mars potatoes following my uplifting morning yoga and meditation regime.
The truth is, I have walked away from the majority of my relationships in life, whether that is after a decade, three years, two years, a year or just nine months together. It doesn’t matter how long that I have been in a relationship with somebody, nor how much I love them and can see a future with them; once I know that they are not right for me, no amount of time or hoping that they will change their ways can silence my gut instinct – I’m off!
To the outside world, when you see a 35yr old single mother of two who is unmarried you may think that she has issues that would cause her to be undesirable to others, hence why she’s single. “Oh, she must be a nightmare!” “I bet you she’s always out partying” “Nobody can put up with her” the accusations are always instantly negative with the woman being to blame. So let’s look at this differently…
Imagine you discover the partner whom you love with all of your heart and have dedicated your life to thus far one day cheats on you and you find out. It shatters the foundations of your entire relationship and you question what you have done to cause them to be unfaithful to you. “Was I not pretty enough? Young enough? Rich enough?” Self-doubt and feeling inferior to the other person that they cheated with keeps you awake at night, tortures your mind and leads to nothing but self-hatred. “Maybe I’ve gained weight? Maybe I look old? Maybe I didn’t give them enough attention? Maybe I’m too boring?” The list of insecurities is endless.
But what happens if you discover the person that they cheated with is younger than you because your partner is so immature? What if the person that they cheated on you with is far more extroverted and attention seeking than you and wears less clothing because your partner found their confidence and attention suddenly flattering and unexpected? What if the person that they cheated on you with has less money than you and saw your partner as a cash cow? What if the person that they cheated on you with had been cheated on by their partner, felt hurt and wanted attention and validation from anybody and everybody regardless of if they were single or not?
Should I remain in a relationship with somebody who seeks validation elsewhere? Well I did. I punished myself for not being good enough, I listened to his insults and believed that I was ugly without makeup, that my clothes were too frumpy, that I was old before my time because I preferred a nice meal over going to a night club. I cried as he pinched my skin and told me I had gained weight. I felt ashamed when he watched adult content on his own in the bedroom instead of being intimate with me. And I apologised for being a morning person, waking up early and getting on with my day, keeping a tidy home and studying as he laid in bed until 2pm with the curtains closed playing video games and eating takeaways.
Why did I leave? Because after wasting my youth on a man child who made my entire life an absolute misery, and treated me with such relentless hatred and disrespect, I then realised you will never fit a square peg into a round hole. Whilst he chain smoked I trained at the gym. As he drank himself silly I experimented with cuisine. With the curtains drawn online gaming all day, I sat in the sunshine listening to classical music whilst reading the works of the worlds greatest philosophers. Removing him from my life was by far the most essential step to me feeling alive for the very first time. Freedom is beautiful!
Many years later I discovered that the way I had lived and been treated by my ex partner was abuse and a womens charity helped me to understand what is, and isn’t, legal, safe and healthy in a relationship. Armed with my new understanding of abuse, I’ve since walked away from red flags faster than you can say “Hey, nice to meet you!” And I strongly encourage all men and women to do the same. You are not a punchbag or possession; actions speak louder than words.
Reasons I Have Ended Past Relationships / Refused To Date Somebody:
-An ex cheated and then told me after I found out that he was disgusted by how much fake tan was trapped between the girls toes and her lack of personality
-An ex was in a secret long distance relationship and I was in fact his bit on the side, I found out when his girlfriend called his phone whilst we were on holiday together
-An ex complained that all of his friends had become single and he missed his youth spent going out with them on the pull
-An ex was seeing four girls at once and when I found out he said he was keeping his options open incase they all ghosted him
-My ex’s bit on the side text me to tell me who she was
-An ex repeatedly invaded my privacy because he’d been cheated on in the past and had trust issues
-My ex was rude and degrading to a waitress serving us at a restaurant
-My ex told compulsive lies, especially whilst around groups of people and the stories we’d all been given didn’t match up
-My ex stole money from me and pretended it was an innocent mistake but then did it again for far more
-My ex hid criminal convictions
-I had a very controlling ex who was stalking me and didn’t want to put my new partner in the middle of it all
-I couldn’t see a longterm future with them
-I didn’t feel respected, loved or appreciated
-I couldn’t find an intellectual connection with them
-I didn’t feel love towards them
-They didn’t have any enthusiasm or passion for life
-They didn’t value their health
-Their mental health issues were too severe for me to support
-They had yet to live their life before settling down to start a family
-They had poor hygiene
-They lied about their job / age / heritage / genitals / body count
-They wanted to be famous
-They were too obsessed with money
-Our libidos were unmatched
-We were at different points in our life
-We wanted different things
-Our morals and values didn’t align
-I didn’t want the drama
-They weren’t a positive impact on my life
-They brought nothing to the table
Now I’m not saying that I’m perfect, far from it, but we each have a unique set of boundaries and expectations that we expect others to adhere to in order to come into, and remain, in our lives. The older that I get, the less that I have time or patience for people who do not know what they want, waste potential, make excuses or continue to do the things that they claim will “never happen again babe.”
I transformed from a people pleasing doormat of a caterpillar into a strong and confident self-secure butterfly and feel great about myself, my life and the value of what I can bring to the table in a relationship. Whilst I’m a loving mother and hard working business woman it is not my job to raise and financially support a man child. I do not tolerate mind games, empty apologies, infidelity, disrespect or arrogance.
If a man cannot hold a mature and meaningful conversation with me and express his emotions freely in order to communicate about everyday issues, concerns or obstacles in the path then he is not the man for me. I wouldn’t expect my teenage children to be taught history by a 6yr old student, nor my dog to be taken for a walk by a pigeon. If a man is not right for me then he is wrong for me and it’s not my job to fix, change or train him to be an entirely different person.
I have however enjoyed dating, knowing my worth, getting to know others and having a respectful parting of ways when you identify enough reasons to rule out a future. It doesn’t have to be a negative experience, nor do you have to get hurt or break any hearts along the way. Listening to others, learning about their life experiences, finding common ground, balance and perspective is a beautiful thing and helps you to better understand the qualities and attributes that you are looking for in a partner. Whilst you may not have concluded what you want yet, you can at least make a list of some of the past experiences that you do not wish to repeat and ex partners attributes that you do not enjoy so that you know what to avoid in future.
Thankfully no two people are the same and it would be unfair to judge an entire gender based off of a handful of undesirable past experiences. People tend to mature with age -if only ever so slightly- as we learn from past mistakes, become more independent and capable, grow through challenging experiences and become more patient, understanding and compassionate in relationships. The wisdom of age and realisation that none of us are getting any younger usually allow wild and reckless ways to simmer into more stable and healthy longterm relationships in business, friendship and matters of the heart alike.
And so here I am, living my best life, loving myself and feeling grateful for every bright new morning. In my smoke-free home, with my cheerful children, meditating, eating clean, working out, reading my favourite authors, rocking my own style, in my own way and at my own pace. If somebody pops up who happens to be on my wavelength, is a positive addition to my life and accepts me for who I am then they’re welcome to join me for the ride and see where it goes. Otherwise I’m more than happy to sleep soundly at night knowing that my heart isn’t breaking, I’m not being lied to, used, cheated on, stolen from, disrespected and tortured because of somebody else’s insecurities, jealousy or self-esteem issues.
Please remember that being single is not shameful, it is the highest level of respect that you can show yourself in a world that is utterly obsessed with quantity over quality. Never be afraid to walk away from a person, relationship or wedding ring that you know deep down isn’t right for you. The peace that you feel when you find your self-worth is far greater than a lifetime of broken promises and empty apologies created by another persons selfish and poor behaviours that you already know will never change.
Warning Signs Of An Unhealthy Relationship:
- Controlling behaviour: Your partner may try to control what you do, what you wear, who you see or where you go. They may also try to isolate you from your friends and family.
- Jealousy: Your partner may be overly jealous of your friends, family, or even your co-workers. They may accuse you of cheating or being unfaithful, even if there is no evidence to support their claims.
- Criticism: Your partner may criticise you, your appearance, your work, or your friends. They may make you feel like you are never good enough.
- Verbal abuse: Your partner may call you names, insult you, or make threats. They may also put you down in front of others.
- Physical abuse: Your partner may hit, kick, push, or shove you. They may also throw objects at you or threaten to hurt you.
- Emotional abuse: Your partner may make you feel bad about yourself. They may belittle you, make you feel guilty, or try to control your emotions.
- Isolation: Your partner may try to isolate you from your friends, family, and support system. They may make it difficult for you to see them or talk to them.
- Betrayal: Your partner may break your trust by cheating on you, lying to you or taking advantage of you.
- Gaslighting: Your partner may try to make you question your own reality. They may deny things that have happened or make you feel like you are crazy.
Signs of Domestic Abuse:
Domestic abuse is something that I endured for many years of my life and didn’t realise that it was wrong, let alone illegal. You may not even see yourself as a victim because it can take many forms including physical, sexual, emotional and financial abuse.
It is important to know the signs of domestic abuse so that you can get help if you or someone you know is experiencing it.
Here are some of the signs of domestic abuse to look out for:
- Physical abuse: This can include hitting, kicking, punching, pushing, shoving, or any other type of physical violence.
- Sexual abuse: This can include forced sexual contact, unwanted touching, or any other type of sexual assault.
- Emotional abuse: This can include name-calling, insults, threats, humiliation, isolation, and controlling behaviour.
- Financial abuse: This can include controlling the victim’s finances, preventing them from working, or taking away their access to money.
In addition to the signs listed above, there are some other things that may indicate that someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse. These include:
- Having unexplained injuries
- Being afraid of their partner
- Having difficulty making decisions
- Feeling isolated from friends and family
- Having low self-esteem
- Feeling like they are always walking on eggshells
If you are concerned that someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, there are a few things you can do. First, talk to them about your concerns. Let them know that you are there for them and that you want to help. You can also offer to help them to find resources in their local area by searching online.
It is important to remember that you cannot force someone to leave an abusive relationship. However, you can offer your support and let them know that you are there for them.
Domestic abuse is a serious problem, but it is one that can be overcome. If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, please reach out for help. There are people who care about you and want to help you get through this. We all deserve to live healthy, happy and peaceful lives away from threat, abuse and fear.
UPDATE: Media Coverage
It seems that my words have resonated with the media who have shared my values of self-worth and wellbeing in referencing to my blog here.
Thank you all for being so open-minded and non-judgemental in addressing self-love and educating oneself about the warning signs and actions involved in domestic abuse.